We bless Thee, O most high God and Lord of mercy,
Who art ever doing numberless great and inscrutable things with us,
glorious and wonderful;
Who grantest to us sleep for rest from our infirmities,
and repose from the burdens of our much toiling flesh.
We thank Thee that Thou hast not destroyed us with our sins,
but hast loved us as ever,
and though we are sunk in despair,
Thou hast raised us up to glorify Thy power.
Therefore we implore Thy incomparable goodness,
enlighten the eyes of our understanding
and raise up our mind from the heavy sleep of indolence;
open our mouth and fill it with Thy praise,
that we may be able undistracted to sing and confess Thee,
Who art God glorified in all and by all,
the eternal Father, with Thy only-begotten Son,
and Thy all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit,
now and ever, and to the ages of ages.
By St. Basil the Great, 4th century Bishop of Caesarea and defender of the faith.
Jesus, my feet are dirty.
Come even as a slave to me, pour water into your bowl, come and wash my feet.
In asking such a thing I know I am overbold, but I dread what was threatened when you said to me, “If I do not wash your feet I have no fellowship with you.”
Wash my feet then, because I long for your companionship.
By Origen of Alexandria, 2nd century Christian theologian.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, light,
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console,
not so much to be understood as to understand,
not so much to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in dying that we awake to eternal life.
Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan order and mendicant preacher.
We thank you for your church, founded upon your Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray, but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon you. Help us to realize that humanity was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity. Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace. Help us to walk together, pray together, sing together, and live together until that day when all God’s children — Black, White, Red, Brown and Yellow — will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the reign of our Lord and of our God, we pray.
By Martin Luther King, Jr., pastor and civil rights leader.
Dear Jesus, help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus. Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others. Amen.
By Mother Teresa of Calcutta, founder of the Missionaries of Charity.